Introductory resources and reference materials to help acquaint you with issues related to ecosystems.
The Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) aims to provide a global framework for biodiversity action. The CBD has three main goals: conserving biodiversity, achieving the sustainable use of its components, and fairly and equitably sharing the benefits arising from genetic resources. The CBD brings together the Conference of the Parties (COP) every two years to review progress, adopt programs, and provide policy guidance. Among their achievements is the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, which provided an overarching biodiversity framework for the entire UN system and all partners involved in policy development. This plan includes the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which were established in an effort to protect and conserve the biodiversity that underpins global food security, health and clean water.
The CBD website is a rich source for learning materials on biodiversity indicators and required actions; primer guides on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; information on national biodiversity strategies and action plans; and more.
Scientific consensus is growing around risks to business from the loss and degradation of nature. This report and framework from WWF builds on existing natural capital and climate-related risk frameworks, and will help you understand the extricable link between nature- and climate change-related risks. This resource also includes a set of case studies featuring businesses facing the consequences of nature-related risk.
This guide is a good starting point if your organisation is looking to preserve at-risk natural spaces from climate change impacts. The guide focuses on ecosystem-based adaptation, which involves the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services to help communities adapt to the negative effects of climate change and to reduce their risk to environmental hazards. This handbooks will help you to perform sound assessments of climate risks for social-ecological systems, and provides guidance on how to systematically consider ecosystems and their services as both a driver of risk (when function is reduced) and as an opportunity for risk reduction and adaptation. This document introduces key concepts and methodological steps relevant for ecosystem-based adaptation; identifies potential adaptation measures; and explains how to perform related planning and use risk assessments for monitoring and evaluation.
Kate Raworth's “Doughnut” model is a key framework for understanding sustainability context. Building on the planetary boundaries framework as a 'ceiling', it adds social foundations as a 'floor' and underlines the need to operate in the space between. The social foundation is made up of 11 boundaries that draw attention to communities needing access to basic resources to fulfill their human needs. This access needs to be achieved in a way that does not place undue stress on the earth's resources. The framework is based on the premise that we should be striving to build and maintain social foundations while staying within planetary boundaries.
ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks, and Exposure), a free tool from the Natural Capital Finance Alliance, will help you to visualise how your business may be exposed to accelerating environmental change. The tool provides a snapshot of the depencies and impacts for a wide range of sub-industries and processes, and includes fact sheets and maps to help you understand the links between business activities and nature.
Established in 2012, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an intergovernmental organisation that was created to "strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being, and sustainable development."
The IPBES produces assessments on specific themes and issues at both the regional and global levels; supports policy development; builds capacity and knowledge for participating member states; provides tracking to show the impact of their knowledge materials on decision-making; and engages in communications, outreach, and awareness-building on key ecosystem-related topics. They are a knowledgeable and reputable source for content that will support your understanding of nature's contributions to human well-being.
Strengthening Synergies: How action to achieve post-2020 global biodiversity conservation targets can contribute to mitigating climate change
Climate change and biodiversity decline are fundamentally connected, and therefore addressing these intersecting crises will require the development and deployment of nature-based solutions. This primer will help you to understand the role that achieving biodiversity conservation targets can play in reducing emissions to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The report looks at the carbon stocks associated with areas identified as possible priorities to meet proposed global biodiversity conservation targets.
Using the best available scientific data, Nature Map Explorer provides a set of integrated global maps on biodiversity and ecosystems services that will help you to explore, visualise, and understand the geographic context of various ecosystem services and the impacts of human activities on them. The map features layers such as terrestrial habitat types, human impact on forests, species richness, and areas of global significance for conservation, and can support your efforts to design and implement policies and initiatives aimed at limiting biodiversity loss and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Forest Positive Coalition has created a framework to proactively monitor and address deforestation and peat non-compliances. The framework is a living document, and it aims to create a more efficient and effective approach for dealing with non-compliance with 'No Deforestation or Peat Development' commitments. It has two sections: guidance on minimum requirements for monitoring, and a response framework that clarifies roles and responsibilities across the supply chain.
Although the scope of the monitoring is for palm oil only, the learning outcomes will be shared for other commodities across the Forest Positive Coalition members.
This handbook from the University of Cambridge Institutite for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) explains how nature loss is a risk to financial institutions. Created to help financial practitioners with limited prior knowledge of biodiversity loss, land degradation, and other ecosystem-related sustainability topics, it provides an overview of key terms and concepts and features a framework for identifying various nature-related financial risks (as well as relevant physical, transition, and liability risks). This is a good starting point for practitioners who want to better understand how to embed nature-related financial risks into strategy and decision-making.
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